Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Co-Op

When you send your child to a co-op nursery school it is significantly cheaper, but you have to actually co-op.  I was supposed to co-op for the first time in October but switched my "shift" with a pregnant Mama who was trying to free herself for her baby's arrival in January.  As the little guy is only in school two mornings a week, I technically only co-op once every six weeks.  Not bad, right?

My first shift was scheduled for November 17th and I have been silently preparing myself for the prospect of hanging out with twelve two-year-olds for weeks.  I have to admit I've been quite nervous.  I have never done this kind of thing before, and while in theory it sounds great (kinda), how was I really going to do in reality?

Last night I got a call from my shift switching Mama colleague asking for a favor.  She was wondering if I could help her out by taking her co-op shift today. I decided to bite the bullet and say "yes."  I pulled together some juice, crackers and veggies to bring in for snack time.  I went to bed early so I wouldn't have a foggy head.  I got up early so I could get a cup of coffee (instant) in me before our regular chaotic morning routine kicked into full gear.  I dropped the babe off at the rope line (which was not a smooth transaction).  I braved rush hour traffic.  And I made it to my shift just in time by 9:14 am.

I now realize that these nursery school mornings go by fast whether you are at the school with the kids or racing around town trying to fit in as many errands as you can in two hours.  I honestly didn't have a chance to worry because I was working/playing/swinging/singing/cleaning/crafting/hand washing/changing poopy diapering/wiping snotty noses/marching and having a grand 'oll time from the second I walked in the door until our time was up at noon.

While I would never want to be in there every day, or even every week (I don't know how preschool teachers do it), I did have a pretty good time.  It was fun to talk to other kids and to watch the little guy in his element.  By the time we made it home for lunch I was wiped out (as was he).  I was starving (as was he).  And I really had to pee (he still wears diapers, what can I say?).

I've caught up on some chores around the house, downed a cafe au lait from my fancy home coffee maker (that's another story), and am really just enjoying my few minutes of peace, quiet, and computer time.  Today, I deserve it.  It feels good to have my first shift under my belt.  And it feels good to be an official "co-oper."


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